"Magical Orkney - Sea, Sky, Fire, Stone .." Top 5 Page for this destination Orkney by scotlandscotour
Orkney Travel Guide: 214 reviews and 410 photos
Welcome to the Orkney Islands - Our chosen home - read on to discover why:
It began in November 2004 - Rachel and I had just spent another week on the Orkney Islands :-)
Travelogue and More Pictures ...
My website about Orkney (updated 2010)
"The Orkney Islands - This is where we will live" ... it is that simple ... of all the planet we chose Orkney. Until you know Orkney you may be surprised - it is windy, far north and, well, lots of islands. But there are very few places in the world like Orkney. You should try it too! Come for a day and be prepared for something very special.
For the best short stay in Scotland - focus upon Edinburgh, Highlands, Orkney and the Western Isles . See my travel tips, travelogues and information - or write to me for free itineraries and local advice.
Places to visit include:
These are the most popular tourist sites but we have found much better, quieter and free places nearby ... so, have a look at these as I first did then see my tips for the fantastic, hidden gems!
Skara Brae, 5000 year old village, Maeshowe, Europe's finest chambered tomb, Ring of Brodgar, Large stone circle with 36 of original 60 stones standing, Broch of Gurness, Superbly preserved circular broch with village and defences, Tomb of The Eagles, A stalled chambered tomb 5000 years old and a bronze age house, privately run, Mine Howe, Recently excavated and puzzling iron-age(?) structure and deep underground chamber, St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, impressive structure and history from 1137ad, Bishop's Palace, Kirkwall, 12 century, Brough of Birsay, Early Christian & Norse settlement across tidal causeway, Earl's Palace, Birsay power base of evil Earls, Stones of Stenness, Another fine collection of standing stones, Italian Chapel & Churchill Barriers, Second world war prisoners chapel and barriers to block sea channels, Grain Earth House, Kirkwall stepped grain store, ... umm and we are still only on the "Mainland" (Orkney's largest island of about 70).
The Orkney Islands include the islands of Hoy, Westray, Rousay, Papa Westray, Shapinsay, South Ronaldsay, Sanday, Stronsay and so on. Each one is very different. They are easy to get to by the inter-island ferry service or plane (8 seater) and well worth the extra time!
Why not explore inside a stone age chamber (tomb, temple, or what?) away from the crowds ... and introduce a little magic ... the sound of a prehistoric drum beating ... the flickering flame of a solitary candle.
Or follow the Craft Trail and meet the artists themselves in their own workshops ... potters, weavers, silversmiths, plus storytellers and many tour guides. Get fresh seafood off the harbour or go diving the best wreck sites in Europe - Skapa Flow.
Why not meander through the cobbled streets of Stromness (best in winter!) or nip into a bar for live music and much laughter. It is alway friendly, safe and beautiful but sometimes cosmopolitan and roudy too.
The Orcadian people are wonderful too. A great blend of Norse, Celt and Scots, with many recent incomers, often crafts people enticed by the pace of life, clean air, music, archaeology or maybe a sense of peace, calm and relaxation
After reading my Orkney Tips, I really recommend reading Scotland Travel Tips
Come and discover the ancient skills of the Stone Age Craftsmen - learn how to make a fire from two bits of wood in a storm ... and fashion nature's resources into a cosy, well designed home.
Become part of a life of song, music, storytelling and laughter ... and join us over a hot mug of tea, or home brewed beer. There is even the local creation - one of the world's best Malt Whiskies - Highland Park.
Lets build a home by restoring one of these stone farm houses, make a place to gather around the fire and rest our weary limbs once the days honest work is done.
Lets show our children the beauty of nature and the joy of friendship and play - in a place that is safe, clean and healthy. A place to explore seabirds swooping cliffs, seal pups sheltering in coves and butterflies flickering amongst fields of flowers.
Orkney is a land of beauty - of silver jewellery, organic farms, the best ice cream, wind turbines and eco-friendly folk, 5000 year old villages, seafood, wind and rainbows, fire and ice.
I have worked out how these huge stones could be sized, moved and positioned - by a few hands - before the introduction of the wheel or any metal ... just using stone, wood and plant materials.
These people were ingenious, infact they invented the ways to use nature without destroying it - something we have lost.
This was a time when creativity was devoted to improving designs, understanding natural resources, creating beauty and form, discovering metals from stone by fire, and exploring the world. They had no time or need to fight.
Times have certainly changed. We have a lot we can learn from these people - and that is what I am doing.
Come join me - in Orkney - in discovering the ancient ways and wisdom. Ancient Skills Training
Where is Orkney ?
Orkney, or Orkney Islands to be more accurate, is a county of Scotland, UK. They are in the north of Scotland, just a few miles off the coast, top right corner of the UK, if looking at a map. So close. Not to be mistaken with the Shetland Islands, further out to sea. Orkney is reached by ferry or plane, and despite seeming remote, is one of the thriving and cosmopolitan counties of Scotland - without being pretentious. So, if you want a unique experience - come see Orkney.
Note: We moved to Stromness, May 2005 :-)
- Pros:The people, ancient history, environment and healthy living, the best ice cream, cosmopolitan and egalitarian, friendly, and stunningly beautiful with awesome natural light, sea and land combined!
- Cons:You never leave enough time to explore the islands, the weather can ruffle feathers of fare weather folk, it takes time - in a world of fast food and instant credit - you've got to want to be here to really enjoy it - Not for instant sun tans.
- In a nutshell:I will happily live here - it makes Skye look drab and insular - follow me!!!
These are your option for travel around Orkney: 1) Orkney consists of something like 67 islands, about a dozen of which... more travel advice
This is one of the best ways to get around Orkney and see places "off the beaten track" where other tours and public... more travel advice
- See All Island of Hoy - Only rock cut "Tomb" in...
- Cruise Congestion - Swamping Orkney
- See All Good Bed and Breakfast near Stromness
- Overcrowded World Heritage - Skara Brae
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